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Philippines’ weekly COVID-19 positivity rate rises to 6.8% –DOH

The Philippines’ weekly COVID-19 positivity rate further increased to 6.8%, while six regions recorded a positivity rate of more than 5%, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Based on DOH’s COVID-19 national situationer released Tuesday night, the National Capital Region (NCR) logged the highest weekly positivity rate of 9.3% as of July 3.

Other regions that surpassed the 5% benchmark of the World Health Organization were Calabarzon with 8.4% weekly positivity rate, Western Visayas with 7.1%, Mimaropa with 6.4%, Cordillera Administrative Region with 5.5%, and Central Luzon with 5.4%.

Positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested.

The DOH reported that the national case trend showed “continuous increase” of COVID-19 infections which averaged at 1,103 cases per day from June 28 to July 4, 2022.

“Sustained case uptrend is observed in most regions with majority (91%) of provinces, HUCs (highly urbanized cities), and ICCs (independent component cities) showing case increases over the recent weeks,” the agency said.

“Most areas show sharp increase in cases with NCR showing the steepest increase, now exceeding 500 cases per day,” it added.

The DOH said that Mindanao also posed a “slight uptick” in COVID-19 infections in mid-June 2022, but is now showing signs of plateauing with more than 50 cases per day.

Despite this, DOH indicated that the Philippines and all regions remain at low risk case classification with their average daily attack rates also at low risk.

The healthcare utilization rates are also still at low risk in all regions and the increase in COVID-19 infections have not yet translated into a rise in severe & critical hospital admissions across, DOH added.

The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 832 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the active infections to 10,032.

On Tuesday, the DOH also reported that more Omicron COVID-19 subvariant cases were detected in the latest whole genome sequencing.

According to the report, 43 BA.5 cases, 20 BA.2.12.1 cases, and seven BA.4 cases were detected from 211 samples sequenced from June 29 to July 4, 2022.

The Health department said in total, there were 190 cases testing positive for the Omicron and all of its sublineages with 90.5%, while 21 samples have no lineage assigned.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. however on Tuesday likened the more transmissible Omicron variant to a flu, saying that it does not hit as hard as compared to other variants.

Marcos said the country still has the capacity to manage the new COVID-19 infections.

He also said Omicron-infected individuals are usually down for about two to three days only, in contrast with earlier variants such as Alpha and Delta. —KG, GMA News